Estate Planning for Your Kids

Estate Planning for Your Kids discusses some planning steps you can take for your children. No one likes to think about their death. But just like taxes, death is inevitable. So, when you meet your end, do you know who will inherit your possessions? If you have kids, how will you ensure they will receive and further know how to handle their inheritances? Don’t assume the answers to those questions unless you have an estate plan. Therefore, you think of personal estate planning as a benefit for your kids, and not just a subject to avoid or be put off.

Estate Planning for Your Kids. Image of an Estate Planning book with inheritance tax and living trust forms with bokeh lights in orange and yellow in background.
Plan to help make life a little easier for your children.
Your Lack of Planning Causes More Pain

When you fail to put your financial affairs in order, your children will deal with the consequences. If that’s what you want, quit reading right now. We can’t help you.

But if you want to ensure you’ve taken care of your kids, you need to know how to plan. Adult children in particular can face several common problems when their parents fail to plan properly. Such as the location of and title to the parent’s assets. Assets may be titled to be automatically distributed to a party or in a percentage to a party that you were unaware of; the adverse is possible as well.

Apart from that, they can also face unexpected inheritance taxes or not knowing where to find financial account information. Just placing someone’s name on an account doesn’t automatically mean they know it exists…or how to handle it.

To make matters more complicated, inheritance laws vary from state to state.

Communicate Wishes

Many parents do an amazing job teaching their children about budgeting, saving, and investing. Yet, they fail to communicate any information whatsoever about their inheritances. Consider this your final and most important financial lesson.

Parents often just assume children will know what they’ll inherit and how to handle the process to receive it. But this ambiguity can lead to some nasty consequences after your death if you don’t make your wishes clear.

Hold a good old-fashioned family meeting to share estate plans with everyone. If that’s not possible, make sure you have frank conversations with each of your heirs. Either way, provide written plans with specifics that spell out who gets what (and when, if applicable). Make sure they each know where to find copies of legal documents, too.

Many financial advisors also recommend their clients arrange a time for them to meet with their heirs. This allows your children to ask questions and meet the person helping with financial matters after their parent’s death. They’ve found that having a familiar face can ease the transition during a time of grieving.

Setting Your Kids Up

It doesn’t matter whether you are of modest means or have extensive asset holdings, put the right documents in place. This will ensure you’ve protected your loved ones and the property you’ve passed down to them.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can ensure you structure your assets in a way to minimize or even eliminate inheritance taxation. When you come to our office, we listen carefully to your values and your goals.

We can help with:

Will preparation

Advance health care declarations

Powers of attorney

Trust creation and administration

Business succession planning

Probate administration

Estate Planning for Your Kids. Closeup of a hand signing a will in black & white.

Set your finances up to protect your children’s interests. Our law office exists to protect your rights and your money. Call us at 724-216-5180 or complete our online form to learn how.

Expect Massive Delays in Processing Your Tax Return This Year

Every year, the IRS seems to get just a little farther behind in getting tax refunds back to people. Throw in the processing of Economic Impact Payments and you’ve got yourself a royal mess. In January, the Treasury Department warned taxpayers to expect massive delays in processing of your tax returns this year. That’s just great, right? But…relax! Below we offer some tips on how to get your cash back as soon as possible.

Expect Massive Delays in Processing Your Tax Return This Year. An image of the red and white John A. Cochran, Esquire business card and some tax forms.
You can probably expect massive delays in processing your tax return this year.

The early bird gets the refund faster. If you put your return in the queue earlier, there will be fewer returns ahead of yours to process. Keep your files organized and ready to go. If you haven’t gotten organized yet, make it a priority. The IRS is still saying they’ll strive to process refunds within 21 days of receipt. And that theoretically can happen for you if you file your return early and don’t raise any red flags.

File Electronically

To expedite your tax refund process, move away from paper submission. Filing paper returns requires time-intensive, manual processing. To ensure a smoother process, file electronically with direct deposit to avoid delays in process, receiving refunds, or notices from the IRS. More than 90% of 160 million people who file taxes submit their returns electronically. You can also check the status of your refund on the IRS’s Where’s My Refund? page.

Have Documentation for Everything

Whether you file a simple W-2 each year or a complicated small business owner return, have documentation for everything. Have your documentation saved electronically for easy access should you be asked to provide proof of anything in your submission. Any questionable numbers will increase your odds of an audit. Make sure the numbers match on the forms before you submit your return. Anything you’re unsure about leads into our next recommendation…

Don’t Guess, Ask an Expert

Even if you think you have a simple preparation process, rules change all the time. If you can’t easily locate an answer to your question, don’t just guess at what to do. Take the time to ask an expert. Even the big online processing companies have an option to connect with a CPA. The small fee for a consultation could end up saving you thousands in the long run. If you have an especially complex situation, your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced tax attorney.

Expect Massive Delays in Processing Your Tax return This Year. An image of the John A. Cochran, Esq. re business card with scrabble pieces written out CPA and Tax Law.
Exercise Patience

Fun fact: the IRS has been running with the same number of staff since the 1970s, despite the American population increasing by 60% since then. Nearly 75% of American taxpayers expect a refund each year, so you’re not alone. Many people count on their tax return to fund vacations or use it pay down debt. However, depending on those refund checks coming in by a certain time can backfire on you. As of December 31, 2021, six million people were still waiting for the IRS to process their 2020 returns. As frustrating as this delay is, there’s nothing you can do. ​

In conclusion, we hope this blog, Expect Massive Delays in Processing Your Tax Return This Year helps with your tax preparation plans. Need help getting your taxes ready or have a question? Our experienced tax professionals can help you minimize any taxes you owe and ensure you comply with all applicable laws. Complete our online form or call us today at 724-216-5180 to learn more.